Several Shelters In Lufkin Are Still Open - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

10/14/05 - Lufkin

Several Shelters In Lufkin Are Still Open

by Ramonica R. Jones

It's been about a month since Betty Adams and other families now living at St. Michael's apartment complex evacuated to Lufkin from Jasper. She still doesn't have electricity at her home and she's running out of money. It's a problem many storm victims living in non-Red Cross shelters are facing.

"By the grace of God, some of the churches here have been giving us donations," said Adams. "We go to Jasper and get donations from the churches from up there."

LaTesha Limbrick and her family lived in a car before they got an apartment at St. Michael's. When she can't afford to buy her own food, she goes to disaster relief centers for help. Evacuees staying at non-Red Cross shelters in Lufkin can also eat at the Pentecostal campground at no cost.

"I've been going to Albertson's," said Limbrick. "Albertson's feeds you three times a day. They give you bags of groceries and they also have hot meals for lunch and for dinner, and i've been going and getting food for my family and other families. They just ask how many people [are] in your family and we've been eating like that."

Red Cross does not pay any shelter for taking care of evacuees, whether it's a Red Cross facility or not. Shelters that operate on their own are mostly on their own when it comes to the cost of feeding and housing evacuees.

Rod Paulette, co-owner St. Michael's, said, "They lost their house in Jasper, in Beaumont, and areas they came from, we certainly don't want them to lose another house and we're gonna stay in it as long as takes to make sure everything works out."

The Red Cross has connected the owners of St. Michael's with state and federal groups, hoping those agencies will reimburse them for the money they've spent housing evacuees. About 35 families that evacuated from both Rita and Katrina are still staying at St. Michael's apartments.

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